John McCain uses Paris Hilton as Race-Bait

By Guest Columnist Aug 06, 2008

By Irwin Tang An interview with me regarding John McCain’s use of the racial slur “gook” went viral just in time for McCain to play the “race card” card – saying that Barack Obama had somehow played “the race card.” Barack Obama did not play the “race card.” But I will, and I’ll play it from the top of my deck. Was John McCain’s Paris Hilton attack ad racially manipulative? Did it stir up white fears by juxtaposing images of young white women and an African American man? Of course it did. This is America. Throughout our history, the greatest race-related fear among whites, especially white men, has been “race-mixing,” namely sexual relations between women of the white race and men of the black race. Did John McCain approve of this attack ad knowing that it was racially manipulative? Of course he did. First, John McCain knows enough about America to know the purpose of alternating images of young, attractive white women with images of Barack Obama. Second, John McCain hired a race-baiting attack ad-maker to manage his entire presidential campaign shortly after Wal-mart fired this Republican hatchetman for making a race-baiting attack ad against an African American senatorial candidate. In 2006, Congressman Harold Ford was likely going to be Tennessee’s first African American senator since Reconstruction. That is, until senior McCain campaign adviser Terry Nelson launched a racially manipulative attack ad against Ford. The key feature of the ad was a white women who demonstrated a liking for Representative Ford. The woman was played by an actress, but the advertisement made it seem like she was an ordinary citizen being candidly interviewed. Nelson’s attack ad shows this attractive, scantily dressed young blonde woman saying, “I met Harold at the Playboy party!” At the end of the commercial, the blonde woman who is filmed in such a way that makes it look like she may be wearing no blouse, holds her fingers to her ear and lips and lustily says, “Harold, call me!” It was widely agreed that the advertisement was racist in that it spurred forth white fears of sex between white women and black men. As a result, Wal-mart fired McCain’s senior adviser. McCain had a choice then. The Republican Party had promised to stop using racially manipulative campaign tactics, and now McCain’s senior adviser had broken this promise and betrayed people of color throughout our nation. John McCain could have fired Terry Nelson for his obvious and disgusting race-baiting tactics. Instead, McCain promoted Nelson to be his national campaign manager. McCain rewarded Nelson for his racist behavior by offering him the top position in his campaign. Add to this disturbing hiring decision McCain’s consistent use of the racial slur “gook,” his hiring of hate group leader Richard Quinn for his Southern strategy, his endorsement of hate group speaker George Wallace, Jr., his support for the rescinding of MLK Day, his campaign to keep the Confederate flag flying over the South Carolina statehouse, and so forth, and it is obvious that John McCain knew exactly what he was doing when he juxtaposed the images of young, attractive white actresses with that of Barack Obama. McCain could have used male actors, black actors, Latino actors, Asian actors. But McCain chose young, attractive white actresses to revitalize the racially manipulative strategies of his old heroes: Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon. John McCain, I commend you. You’ve proven that you are an agent of change. You seek to transform our nation into that of the segregated, hateful America of old. Thank you, John McCain. Irwin Tang is the author of Gook: John McCain’s Racism and Why It Matters, available at or